Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela


Magnificence gets magnified.

This image is particularly special and apt for today’s thought, because I shot it recently from the roadside South-West of Mthatha (Umtata) and close to Qunu, which is where Nelson Mandela grew up. The region falls within what was the Transkei, a homeland of the Xhosa-speaking people during apartheid years. It was reintegrated into South Africa in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became President, and now forms part of the Eastern Cape province. Shortly after taking this photo, we came across the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, which showcases the gifts he has received from all corners of the globe.

Since Madiba’s birthday has just passed, marked by Mandela Day around the world, here are two quotes to consider that bear particular relevance to him:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of ‘A Course in Miracles’.

Part of the passage is said to have been quoted by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech, although this is apparently not conclusive. I don’t rememeber the speech well enough to say for sure, but either way, Madiba certainly embodies everything contained in these words, as well as the following poem, narrated by Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in the movie of the same name:

INVICTUS – by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

If you’re interested in my thoughts (as a South African) about this film, then here’s a link to my review: Invictus
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Serving humanity on Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela turns 92 today. What better way to honour his contribution to the world than by participating in Mandela Day, declared ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ by the United Nations last year. People across the globe are performing 67 minutes of community service today, in tribute to the over 67 years that Madiba devoted to public service and striving for social justice.

It was awesome to see him attend the World Cup final here in Johannesburg, along with Morgan Freeman, who portrayed him masterfully in the movie Invictus. In the words of this iconic actor: “Madiba doesn’t want a day of celebration. He asked that we spent 67 minutes on that one day in service of humanity.”

Still in South Africa, Morgan Freeman waved off a group of motorcycle riders on Tuesday, at the start of their road trip in support of Mandela Day. Although not riding himself, he is taking part in the event, which has traversed South Africa, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg all the way to Cape Town. This is the final day, being spent erecting a fence at the AIDS Response centre in Khayelitsha, convening at the Cape Town City Hall, followed by a press conference at the One&Only Hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

To set the Mother City scene for you, here’s a photo showing the One&Only Hotel (marked in red) in close proximity to the Greenpoint Stadium, which has been the setting for much World Cup jubilation over the past few weeks!


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Special Photo for Freedom Day

South Africa celebrated Freedom Day on Tuesday 27th April, in commemoration of our first democratic elections which took place in 1994, resulting in Nelson Mandela‘s election as President. This iconic man has contributed so much wisdom to the world that it begs to be shared. Here are two quotes for today’s inspiration:

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ – Nelson Mandela

This post is 2 days late because Dave and I were in the Western Cape, taking a mini holiday around his last race in Montagu (more images to follow soon). Here’s a special photo that he took from Signal Hill, which is where he proposed to me a little over 15 years ago, on an equally beautiful day :-). In the spirit of the classic wedding phrase, this image includes:

Something OldRobben Island (left of pic, where Madiba was incarcerated for many years),
Something NewGreenpoint Stadium, all ready for the 2010 Soccer World Cup!,
Something Borrowed – perfect Autumn weather,
Something Blue – a small slice of Table Bay . . .


On a personal note, Freedom Day is particularly relevant to my first novel, Out of Air, which is a lively love story set in Cape Town during 1994 🙂 More info is included on My Books page.
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Remembering Madiba’s Release & Dave’s Birthday…

We’ve just returned from a fabulous 2-week trip with family in Switzerland (which I’ll do a post about shortly), in time for today’s commemoration of the 20-year anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from Victor Verster prison (now the Drakenstein Correctional Centre).

Dave and I saw a snippet on CNN earlier which showed crowds of supporters outside the prison, with a giant statue of Madiba in the background. Returning from Europe on Monday, we spent 2 days in London, where I snapped this photo from our cab of another 9-foot high statue of him in Parliament Square (the one behind is of Sir Robert Peel, a previous Prime Minister of the UK).

Soon afterwards, we took a champagne flight on the London Eye, and celebrated Dave’s birthday in spite of the weather!!

Here’s a night-time pic of this stunning structure, which is well worth a whirl 🙂

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After anticipating the movie Invictus for many months, being South African, and watching it recently, I’m compelled to comment. On the whole, it is undeniably an excellent film (with Oscar potential) and extremely thought-provoking. However, it left me feeling, in … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Madiba!

Your grace is a gift beyond measure, and your legacy, love. Thank you! Richest blessings on your birthday 🙂 Here’s a link to http://www.MyFriendShane.com, where messages to Nelson Mandela are being gathered together, for collection into a card. Hop across … Continue reading

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“Just do it!”

I just did it: finally wrapped up the finishing touches to my first novel, OUT OF AIR. How fitting that it should be on voting day, fifteen years on from the landmark election of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s own “ambassador … Continue reading

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The blogging conundrum

Having set up this site, the million dollar question is whether I have something worth saying? Barack Obama graciously acknowledges a similar doubt in the preface to the 2004 edition of his book, “Dreams From My Father“. Dave and I … Continue reading

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